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WIP Critique Black Watch Corner Memorial

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Dan Morton, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Last summer, we visited Ypres and, among the many memorials, the figure at Black Watch Corner was deeply moving. This 1/16th scale figure is intended as an homage - not a copy. No disrespect to the sculptor of the original memorial, Alan Herriot, is intended.

    51st Highland Division, Black Watch Corner Memorial, Ypres, Belgium


    "It was here that the battle was won. It was here that the battle and war itself was very nearly lost."
    Lynn MacDonald, 1914; The Days of Hope



    From the 51st Highland, Black Watch web site:

    On 13 August 1914, 31 officers and 1,031 soldiers of the 1st Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) embarked for France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and took part in a series of battles and fighting withdrawals, while the German Army pressed forward relentlessly.

    During October and early November, having suffered a large number of casualties, the 1st Battalion The Black Watch, as part of 1st (Guards) Brigade took part in three separate battles which made up the First Battle of Ypres:

    • Langemark (21– 24 October 1914)
    • Gheluvelt (29 – 31 October 1914)
    • Nonne Bosschen (11 November 1914)

    By 11 November, despite receiving some reinforcements, the strength of the battalion had been reduced to 9 officers and 228 soldiers who, as part of the BEF holding the Ypres area, numbered only about 7,850, including reserves. They were to face twenty-five battalions of the Kaiser’s elite Prussian Guard, numbering 17,500 men. The main assault came just north of the Menin Road and fell upon The Black Watch, Scots Guards and Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.

    The contemporary Black Watch history and other records describe the battle: ‘Between 6.30 am and 9 am on 11 November, the heaviest bombardment so far experienced by the British forces broke out; as it lifted, a Division of the Prussian Guard, ordered by the Kaiser to break the British line at all costs, attacked the front. Under cover of the bombardment, a strong enemy force drove back D Company and the two platoons of A Company entrenched at the south west corner of Polygon Wood. C Company under the command of Lieutenant Anderson and in a strong point (point d’appui) 380 yards from the south and west corner of Polygon Wood held out firmly. This split the attack into small parties of 20–30 Prussians, many of whom were soon lost in the woods behind. As they emerged from the back of the woods the guns of 41 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, sited one thousands yards west of Nonne Bosschen Wood, opened direct fire on the enemy at a range of 300–400 yards.

    The effect was devastating and the German attack faltered. At 3 pm a counter attack by the 2nd Battalion The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, supported by the Royal Field Artillery, destroyed the remnants of the Prussian Guard and the line between the Menin Road and Polygon Wood was re-established. At 3.30 pm three Companies of the 1st Battalion The Northamptonshire Regiment, supported by parties of The Black Watch and Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, advanced from Nonne Bosschen Wood to retake the south west corner of Polygon Wood. This corner was known on all later maps as Black Watch Corner. Originally, however, it was the C Company “strong point” south west of Polygon Wood which was given that name.’

    On 12 November 1914, the day after the battle, the strength of the 1st Battalion The Black Watch had been reduced to 2 officers and 109 soldiers; the 1st Battalion Scots Guards to 1 officer and 69 soldiers and the 1st Battalion The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders to 2 officers and 140 soldiers.

    The First Battle of Ypres was arguably the most critical defensive battle fought by the British in the Great War and, with the added support of French artillery batteries, the German attempt to break through to the Channel Ports was halted.

    Between 1914-1918 over 50,000 men served in twenty-five battalions of The Black Watch; over 8,000 were killed and over 20,000 wounded.

    I still have to clean the figure and make a couple corrections. Luis Ibanez will be painting the figure and I'm eager to see his results.

    All the best,
    Dan

    Attached Files:

    jakbwrhr, arj, mark126804 and 13 others like this.
  2. Nap Forum Moderator

    Country:
    England
    Hi Dan

    Thanks for the details and a real nice figure a fitting tribute to those brave men

    Looking forward to seeing more on this

    Nap
  3. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Country:
    France
    Devastating time for all of the regiments in the 51st Highland Division. These conflicts lead to the Territorials being Called Up to virtually replace whole Regiments.
    They joined the fray with what ever kit they could cobble together. This meant that after this date we modellers had a less demanding accuracy for their figures.
    Seriously though this is a super sculpt and a very worthy tribute to the the Black Watch Dan.
    I'm eagerly following this fine work Mate.
    Keith
    jakbwrhr, Scotty and Dan Morton like this.
  4. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Cheers Nap and Keith! Glad to hear you (and others) like it! The next challenge will be to get it to Luis without damage [shudder].

    All the best,
    Dan
    Wings5797 likes this.
  5. clrsgt A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    A more than fitting tribute to those brave men.
  6. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks Michael!

    All the best,
    Dan
  7. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Country:
    France

    Fingers are crossed for you Dan.
    Keith
  8. TERRYSOMME1916 Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Dan hes looking great and it will be a nice figure to have in your collection in honor of the fallen, there is another crackin memorial at Beaumont Hamel, I was at the Somme on the 1st July last year and certainly want to do something like this regarding the 36th Ulster Division, those trips to the Battle Fields stay with you when you come home.
    TERRY
  9. Borek A Fixture

    Country:
    Czech-Republic
    Hi Dan:) . Very good Job. The only thing that seems to me - the forearm, both are too long. I would suggest (if you still can fix it) to shorten sleeves, and perhaps even shorten both palms as if they more nested into the sleeves. Perhaps you understand, I apologize for my English ... Maybe even a trifle on his left hand to move the elbow, as well as left arm seems to me a little longer, but it's not a good angle to photography, so I'm not sure ... Well done and keep it up :).

    Cheers Borek
  10. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks Keith! Cleaning and packing today.

    Hi Terry! We were at Beaumont Hamel, Newfoundland memorial park and Lochnagar Crater in September last year. I thought the monument to the 51st Highland was excellent! The 36th Division monument replica of St. Helens' tower was unusual. [Or - have I misidentified the 36th monument?] What would you do with the miniature?

    All the best,
    Dan

    Attached Files:

    Wings5797 likes this.
  11. TERRYSOMME1916 Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Dan you got it, the Ulster Tower is the memorial to the 36th Ulster Division and is a replica of Helen's Tower that is situated in Clandeboye Wood a few miles outside Belfast where in 1913 the Ulster Volunteer Force trained in readiness to defend Ulster against the home rule bill, however at the outbreak of war this trained army where offered to Kitchener, most of them joined up and along with 3 existing Irish Regiments of the British army where given the name of the 36th Ulster Division. The replica tower was built on the spot where vast numbers of them fell as they advanced out of Thiepval Wood across the sunken road and onto the battlefields so although its not a the normal statue its has a deep relevance. Before I went to the Somme last year I bought 2 Youngs Busts (the WW1 British Soldier and The German smoking a pipe) I had the British soldier primed and ready to paint as a 36th Ulster Division soldier on my return home but while visiting the Ulster Tower I was told that they still wore the brown leather belts (sam browns), ammo pouches etc as they did not like the webbing and I didn't have the heart to start converting so somewhere down the line I will pick up another bust and convert it.
    I will look forward to seeing this Black Watch tribute completed, well done so far.
    TERRY
  12. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    OK - now I get it. I thought you were going to build a copy of the tower and then add a 36th division figure or something.

    All the best,
    Dan
  13. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Borek:

    Thanks for your clear, constructive critique. Always appreciated!

    From Great War Forum, I have some uniform critique to work on also.

    All the best,
    Dan
    Wings5797 and Borek like this.

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